Hackney celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala calls for end to factory farming

Celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala

Celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala - Credit: Cyrus Todiwala

A Hackney celebrity TV chef who has cooked for the Queen has starred in a video series urging people to end factory farming.

Cyrus Todiwala, who owns the restaurant Café Spice Namaste, features in the second episode of the new Rooting for Real Farms online series. 

The videos involve top chefs teaming up with high welfare farmers, who focus on the welfare of animals as a priority. 

It aims to encourage people to help end factory farming but only buying from local, high welfare farms. 

Todiwala says pigs should be outside 24/7, 12 months of the year, free to roam on large tracts of land.

"The horror is in factory farms when the sow litters and has no space to turn around or even stand up because her knees are too wobbly," he said.

Chef Cyrus Todiwala at his home near Victoria Park

Chef Cyrus Todiwala at his home near Victoria Park - Credit: Cyrus Todiwala

He urged people turn their "noses up to factory farms that don't give animals freedom to move".

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Todiwala, who cooked for the Queen to mark her diamond jubilee, regularly appears on cooking programmes such as BBC One's Saturday Kitchen.

Pigs are given the space to roam free on Trevaskis farm 

Pigs are given the space to roam free on Trevaskis farm - Credit: Trevaskis farm 

In one video, Todiwala, from his home in Hackney near to Victoria Park, cooks up a pork recipe from rare breed British lop pigs raised on Trevaskis farm by Giles Eustice.

Eustice is determined to get the British lop breed off the Rare Breed Survival Trust's (RBST) endangered list, as it is currently rarer than the Giant Panda. 

With the help of Todiwala, he hopes to bring the British lop to the London food scene and make it a household name. 

British Lop pigs are raised on Trevaskis farm by Giles Eustice whose family have been farming in Cornwall for over 400 years

British Lop pigs are raised on Trevaskis farm by Giles Eustice whose family have been farming in Cornwall for over 400 years - Credit: Trevaskis Farm

Todiwala is now the patron of the British Lop Pig Society.

A national alliance of farmers, foodies, animal welfare campaigns, including the Soil Association and Sustainable Food Trust, have been sharing the series of short videos to promote their campaigns for a local, high welfare food system. 

Cyrus Todiwala has cooked for the Queen

Cyrus Todiwala has cooked for the Queen - Credit: Cyrus Todiwala

The Rooting for Real Farms campaign is also urging legislators to make sure future trade deals following Brexit prevent the import of meat from substandard farms.

Tracy Worcester, director of Farms Not Factories added: “Leaving the European Union should mean signing trade deals that will raise our food and farming standards."